How Jessica Alba Balances a Business Empire with Acting and Family

Jessica Alba, actress and founder of The Honest Company, chats with Best Health about the brand’s Canadian expansion and her personal wellness strategies.

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If the best business ideas are those that fulfill an everyday need, it’s no wonder The Honest Company has proven successful. After all, the brand is all about daily essentials.

“We really wanted to launch with what touches your family every single day and what touches the most vulnerable person in your family, and that’s babies. What you clean your home with, what you put on your skin, what you bathe your kid with, what you bathe yourself with and diapers and wipes. That’s why we launched with everyday essentials,” Jessica Alba told Best Health while in Toronto recently.

As the brand approaches its fifth anniversary (it was founded in 2012) and expands in Canada, we asked Alba and Honest co-founder Christopher Gavigan to share what they’ve learned along the way. Plus, how they manage to balance it all. Read on for their thoughtful and honest answers.

On balancing career and family

From an outsider’s perspective, it looks as if these two have it all. The Honest Company has grown into a billion-dollar business empire and both Alba and Gavigan have young families, as well as additional career ventures. And Alba has two movies out this summer, as well as a new denim line. So how does she do it? “I don’t know; I don’t think I balance it very well,” she admits. “I think I try my hardest. Things are always compromised. But my kids’ health and happiness is at the forefront of what really matters to me and as long as that is intact then I feel like I can take on more business or a new movie.”

Gavigan, who at the time of our meeting had a newborn baby at home (with wife and actress Jessica Capshaw), agrees: “There is no magic equation. It’s day-to-day,” he says.

Above all, time management seems to be key. “Some days I feel like I’ve figured it out and then other days I just wish there were two of me,” says Alba.

On business lessons

“Trust your gut,” says Alba. “I underestimated how important that is. Trust your gut and know at the end of the day that if you stayed true to your mission, you’re going to make the right decisions.” The mission for The Honest Company? Providing customers with a safe and effective product. “[When] you value your products and you value your customers, you learn so much,” says Gavigan.

On the health-conscious Canadian consumer

“It would be great to be able to bring Honest Beauty to Canada,” says Alba. “I feel like the Canadian market, and certainly millennials, love clean and conscious brands.”

Alba and Gavigan both praised Canada’s transparency when it comes to product ingredients. “I also think that any country that provides healthcare is going to want healthier people, just from an economic standpoint,” says Alba.

On starting the day right…

“I feel the most productive when I get a workout in,” says Alba, while also admitting that her early morning workouts (around 6 a.m.) might mean she doesn’t get as much sleep.

…And ending the day ready for the next one

“ESPN and stretching for me,” says Gavigan of his evening wellness strategy.

“I should figure out something else,” says Alba. “Cash always puts on some murder show, and if I watch it I’m solving crimes and I’m not sleeping,” she laughs.

The Honest Company is now available in over 700 retail locations in Canada, including Indigo, Loblaws, Sobeys, Canadian Tire, Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Bed, Bath and Beyond and West Coast Kids.

If you haven’t yet tried any of The Honest Company’s products, here are what Alba and Gavigan say are some of the best sellers in Canada.

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1. The Honest Company Wipes, $8 at indigo.ca

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2. The Honest Company Organic Healing Balm, $15 at indigo.ca

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